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The family behind the miracle – Beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen

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In 2010 Bonnie Engstrom and her husband had watched reruns of Archbishop Fulton Sheen's television program "Life is Worth Living" via YouTube during her pregnancy and planned on naming their son after him. While it was a healthy pregnancy and labor at home, there was a knot in their son's umbilical cord.

"I just remember my mid-wife put him in my arms as soon as she caught him she passed him to me and his arms and his legs just dangled like a rag doll. He was blue and he was not moving in any way." said Bonnie Engstrom, mother to James and author of the book 61 Minutes To A Miracle.
"I have a very strong memory of just sitting on the floor as I was going into a state of shock remembering saying Fulton Sheen's name over and over again in my head, just Fulton Sheen, Fulton Sheen."

As she prayed, still born James was taken to OSF St. Francis Medical Center. She said all the while hooked up to heart monitors that showed no beating, 61 minutes later.

"The doctor stopped the work, everyone took their hands off of James so they could call the time of death and as soon as they did that, that was when his heart started to beat, it just shot right up." said Engstrom

Despite doctors expecting massive organ failure and disabilities, James Fulton Engstrom beat the odds. Bonnie called the Sheen Foundation and they started an official investigation.

"They took all of the medical records, they interviewed doctors, nurses, myself, my husband. At times it felt like they were trying to prove a miracle didn't happen, they turned over every stone." said Engstrom "He didn't have a pulse, he was hooked up to a heart monitor for at least 40 minutes and he had no pulse that entire time so either that technology failed again and again and again .. or it's true."

This summer, the Vatican made their ruling that the act was a miracle.

The Central Illinois native Archbishop Fulton Sheen's journey to sainthood has been delayed, The Catholic News Agency reported this was at the request from a bishop at the Rochester diocese.

It is unclear at this time when the beatification will take place.

Kaitlin Pearson

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